Skip to main content

tv   Full Measure With Sharyl Attkisson  CBS  March 20, 2016 11:00am-11:30am EDT

11:00 am
[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] sharyl: hello, i' attkisson. welcome to "full measure." today, president obama arrives in havana, cuba. he is first sitting president to visit the island nation since calvin coolidge in 1928. most americans might be
11:01 am
astonishing number of cubans are surging into the u.s. they' re taking advantage of a law that allows them to stay legally in the u.s. if they can get one foot on american soil. that law is a relic from the cold war and one that some want to change. congressman henry cuellar is a democrat from the border town of laredo, texas, which has seen an incredible surge in cubans crossing the mexican border into the u.s. congressman cuellar: when you see the numbers, it is literally mind-boggling. sharyl: after several years of averaging only about 7,000 a year, the flood of cubans began -- reaching 24,000 in 2014, 43,000 in 2015, and another 25,000 in the past five months, meaning this year could top the others. most of them come in through cuellar' s district in laredo. congressman cuellar: 45,000-47,000 have come in through just the port of laredo. sharyl: it' s by far the biggest flood of cubans to the u.s. since the mariel boatlift in
11:02 am
announced anyone who wanted to would be allowed to leave. 125,000 came to the u.s. -- many on flimsy rafts. the law was amended in 1995. now, cuban citizens intercepted at sea are turned back. but if they can manage to get one foot on u.s. soil, they' re allowed to stay. it' s called "wet foot, dry foot." can you explain what the so-called "wet foot, dry foot" policy is for the united states? congressman cuellar: it basically says that if somebody from cuba touches land in the u.s., they get to stay here. they don' t have to show that there' s credible fear or their asylum or a refugee. sharyl: cuellar, whose father was born in mexico, says he' s pro-legal immigration, but insists u.s. law gives cubans an unfair advantage. congresman cuellar: i can understand if somebody comes in and makes their case and says, credible fear, refugee, asylum
11:03 am
of an immigration judge, but what other country gets a blanket, just get to the u.s. and you' re in? nobody else gets that. sharyl: the new surge happened as word got out that president obama would be changing the u.s. relationship with cuba. president obama: we will end an outdated approach that, for decades, has failed to advance our interests and, instead, we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries. sharyl: if our relationship with cuba is warming, why so many people in the last two years flooding across our border trying to come here? congressman cuellar: basically, they think that this new relationship with the u.s. means that congress is going to change the cuban adjustment act. it means that they' re going to take that away. so, they want to come in and take advantage of this law while it still exists. sharyl: would you go so far as to say the administration was keeping this secret? surely, they knew about these massive influxes. congressman cuellar: without a doubt they knew about it, no ifs or buts.
11:04 am
even providing that information to members of congress that represent those areas is without, with all due respect to the administration, i don' t think that was the right thing to do. sharyl: cubans have been streaming into laredo almost every day. they look for the cuban flag a few steps from the entry gate into the u.s. and know that the man inside this modest office will help. alejandro ruiz came to the u.s. from cuba in 1992 and has found a calling sheltering new she, her husband, and 9-year-old son have been living with alejandro for the last month. [speaking spanish] sarahi: if it wasn' t for alejandro and dania, which is the other girl, we would still be in that stairwell from the day we arrived. sharyl: belkis mora suarez is a doctor. she arrived this week, happy to leave cuba behind. speaking spanish] []dr. mora suarez: i have opportunities, i' m a doctor. i have opportunities to get my children out of cuba.
11:05 am
t have a future. sharyl: ruiz gets them social security cards and helps them fill out paperwork that immediately qualifies them for federal benefits, including food stamps and a cash payment starting at $445 a month for nine months. after one year, they get permanent legal residency. alejandro ruiz: i love my country. i love my people. i never go back to cuba, because i need to do this for them. they need this type of support. sharyl: the route to laredo has been round-about. very few cubans are allowed to they' ve flown to ecuador, made their way to costa rica, paid $555 to board chartered flights across the u.s. border into texas. last month, cuellar visited a camp of cuban migrants on the journey in costa rica. congressman cuellar: do you there' s -- you have unaccompanied kids who are claiming very dangerous areas
11:06 am
because of the drug violence and the world and they' re trying to flee that violence -- and you' re coming in more because you want want to you know another system besides castro? the person looked at me, he smiled and says, "i understand, congressman, but as long as we we' re going to take advantage of that." sharyl: cuellar has authored a bill to end the cuban adjustment act, but isn' t optimistic about its chances in a presidential election year. the white house didn' t respond to a request for comment, but obama spokesman josh earnest said in january that there are no plans to change the policy. costa rica and other countries are already beginning to clamp down on their visa policies. ahead on "full measure" -- it is springtime for the trump campaign. >> good evening, it is me, donald j trump. in case you are wondering, the j
11:07 am
11:08 am
ago that pundits and c sharyl: citizen trump. pundits have talked themselves sideways looking for a label to hang on the donald since he entered the race last summer. billionaire. reality show star. but one that some never imagined is republican nominee. with a major win last week and three more states up this week, trump has had success beyond all
11:09 am
his own. how could the experts have been so wrong? scott thuman reports it' s the media coverage that' s looked more like a reality show. mr. trump: we have something happening that makes the republican party probably the biggest political story anywhere in the world. scott: donald trump is the leading republican candidate for president. the gop front-runner has won nominating contests in nearly 20 states and a u.s. territory. trump also has more than half of the 1237 needed to clinch the gop nomination. howie: i and a relatively few other people said, "don' t underestimate donald trump" -- because i knew what a tough customer he was in new york. scott: howie kurtz is a media critic and host of fox news' "media buzz." howie: the media spent months and months missing the donald trump phenomenon. never have so many been so wrong about one candidate. scott: it' s an outcome few expected would happen some nine months ago when trump officially
11:10 am
house. mr. trump: i am officially running for president of the united states and we are going -- scott: his candidacy was quickly dismissed in the media. >> mr. trump, as a serious candidate for republican nomination, is so stupendiously, incredibly idiotic. sharyl: and mocked by late-night comedians. >> we don' t get dizzy with the blades of the helicopter looks like when they spin around. >> good evening. it' s me, donald j. trump. in case you were wondering, the "j" stands for genius. [laughter] scott: one news site even going as far as covering his campaign in its entertainment section. over the summer, candidate trump was consistently on the airwaves of broadcast news channels with
11:11 am
record viewership during the republican primary debates. what did it mean by all of us underestimating donald trump early on? what was the impact of that you think? howie: it probably helped donald trump that the press dismissed and mocked and minimized him, because he was able to run against the media. scott: now, trump' s summer stump has turned into his winter of winning. the new york businessman turned politician has outlasted contenders analysts once predicted had a better shot at winning the republican howie: donald trump utterly changed the rules of campaigning. the way in which he conducts himself was supposed to be utterly unacceptable for somebody running for president. except when you win most of the states, people say, "wow, i guess that worked." scott: according to mediaquant, a firm that tracks media coverage, donald trump has received nearly $2 billion worth of free media coverage over the course of his campaign. that' s more than all the remaining 2016 presidential candidates combined. but not all of the media
11:12 am
been positive. mr. trump: donald j. trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of muslims entering the united states. scott: despite making several statements analysts predicted would derail his candidacy, trump has consistantly polled higher than any other candidate seeking the republican presidential nomination. now, pundits and politicans are taking trump' s candidacy seriously. prompting mitt romney, the republican party' s 2012 presiddential nominee, going as far as to deliver a speech making the argument that trump is unfit to lead the party. mr. romney: let me put it very plainly. if we republicans choose donald trump as our nominee, the prospects for a safer and prosperous future are greatly diminished. scott: with house speaker paul ryan voicing concern about the violence he' s seen at donald trump' s campaign rallies. speaker ryan: this party does not prey on people' s prejudices. we appeal to their highest ideals. scott: but the front runner is capitalizing on his outsider status -- calling to unify the
11:13 am
while at the same time warning of possible riots if he is denied the nomination in a contested convention. howie: the republican leaders kind of rigged this thing to get a consensus around an early front runner. they just never imagined that front runner would be donald trump. and i think now, for all the talks of a contested convention, republicans are pretty much going to have to live with the candidate who has won the most states and the most delegates. scott: another sign donald trump is very much in the drivers seat -- there was supposed to be another republican debate monday night in utah. he decided he did not want to attend and fox news and the gop canceled the entire event. he is coming here to washington to speak to a pro-israel political group. ted cruz and john kasich are following suit. sharyl: the republican establishment is very concerned. scott: the level is significant. there are reports that the gop conservative leaders met and discussed two options this week -- do we coalesce behind donald
11:14 am
or could we possibly come up with a candidate, at the last minute, to derail his candidacy and become the nominee? if so, how would all that play out? sharyl: and who would it be? scott: exactly. sharyl: thanks so much. "full measure," we continue our
11:15 am
11:16 am
tuesday is primary day , including arizona, where immigration is a big issue, as it is everywhere in this presidential campaign. there is another harsh reality on the border that you may be surprised to hear exists in america. u.s. border towns so influenced by the influx of illegal smugglers and drugs, it' s worked its way into the fabric of daily life. to see for ourselves, we visited douglas, arizona, a town of about 17,000. it' s just across the border from the mexican town of agua prieta,
11:17 am
1900' s. our guide is a douglas native and border patrol agent who views the town' s challenges as a testament to the larger border problems facing the u.s. agent del cueto: it' s just well-known. it' s just well-known who' s involved in drugs. it' s well-known on both sides. sharyl: for u.s. border patrol agent art del cueto, the dusty drive south to his hometown of douglas, arizona is a twisted trip down memory lane. agent del cueto: this is 10th street. i grew up here and i remember driving through these streets all the time. sharyl: at the douglas port of entry -- agent del cueto: as a kid, we used to go into mexico all the time. sharyl: he still finds a familiar face. a billion dollars in legal trade passes thru this port each year. and then there'
11:18 am
unknown amounts of marijuana, opium, and heroin are smuggled in vehicles or across the fence. on the other side of the fence is the mexican city agua prieta. agent del cueto: in this area, on the south end, it' s basically the sinaloa cartel that runs this whole operation. sharyl: it' s a well-known drug smuggling corridor controlled by the most powerful drug trafficking organization on the planet. agent del cueto: look at this house. if i had that much money, where i could afford that house, i think agua prieta, at the border, would be last place i would have built that house. sharyl: it' s become a constant theme in douglas and other u.s. border towns -- the corrupting influence of mexico' s drug cartels has worked its way into the community in ways that many americans would find shocking, but local residents take for granted. agent del cueto: unfortunately, living and growing up here, it' s easier to take the bad road. it' s less taboo to do the bad thing than it is to take the high road, than it is to do the right thing.
11:19 am
plentiful and often free for the asking. agent del cueto: when i was in 6th grade was the very first first time that i saw someone using heroin, and it was another kid in junior high. sharyl: the "d" on the hill stands for douglas. it' s used as a navigation marker by smugglers. have you ever wondered what weren' t for the drug trade? of the town wouldn' t be here. a lot of douglas exists because of the drug trade. sharyl: come to a town like this cartels, and it' s not a bad idea to have extra security. we did. fear of retaliation from the drug cartel interests is why this local resident asked not to be identified. he told us he was approached by drug traffickers operating in douglas. >> they just walked in. it was closing time and they took out a large amount of cash and told me, "this is how it' s going to work." you don' t know if you' re going to be assaulted -- maybe a gun
11:20 am
i just didn' t know what to do. sharyl: and so how did you get out of that situation? >> i just took my stand and i told them that from day one, you know, my parents always told me,"you' re never going to dirty our name. work hard for your money. it' s better to have no money than dirty money." sharyl: he believes that rejection of the drug traffickers is why his business rent was tripled, forcing him to close down. daniel nunez also resists pressure and temptation. he comes from agua prieta each day, where he lives, and takes classes to work legally in this douglas coffee house. sharyl: do you walk over? daniel: yeah. sharyl: you must have friends and people you know who got mixed up in crime and bad things? daniel: yeah, actually i have a lot of friends in mexico. they cross drugs. they telling me, "do you want to smuggle? do you want drugs?" that' s something, that' s something that i don' t do. i don' t want that for me. i want to, like i say, i want to grow up, be a good person, have my work, have job. sharyl: before the drugs, douglas was "the smelter city," a booming, western, copper s throw
11:21 am
gold, silver, and copper in the 1880' s. the grand gadsden hotel stands as a reminder of douglas' heyday. legend has it that mexico' s revolutionary general pancho villa rode his horse up this staircase and chipped the 7th stair from the bottom right there. but the smelter shut down in 1987. 347 jobs and $27 million dollars a year evaporated from the local economy. mexico' s emerging drug trade was there to fill the void. robert uribe envisions a different future for douglas. he' s an artist from the dominican republic who owns the coffee shop. robert: douglas has all the elements laid out to be successful again, i think. we' re in the process of finding that identity. sharyl: uribe settled here after marrying a local. they hope to help convert the
11:22 am
art colony. robert: i' m very excited to be able to present douglas a new idea, a new vision. sharyl: and no one has approached you and tried to ask you to launder money. robert: no one. sharyl: or be part of this. robert: i' ve not experienced that. so that, to me, shows me that people respect what we do. so, i hope that they don' t approach me with any of those suggestions of wanting to do anything that' s illegal because that' s not what we do. sharyl: del cueto would also like to see a different future for his hometown, but says it' s a monumental fight given the current state of the border. agent del cueto: tucson sector is still responsible for over 50% of all the drugs coming into this country. that' s humongous, that' s a huge, huge amount. you see people further into the country that say it can' t be that bad, it can' t be that bad. it is that bad. i remember running around this block. sharyl: today, he can' t help but engage in an old pastime -- pointing out people living
11:23 am
beyond what their legitimate salaries would allow. agent del cueto: it' s the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about. people try to turn a blind eye. sharyl: and that realization is the key to how and why del cueto says he got out of douglas and sought a career as a border patrol agent, fighting the very cartels that have long corrupted his home. douglas is a town that what? agent del cueto: douglas is a town that doesn' t forget. that' s what i would say. it' s a town that has taught me a lot of lessons. it teaches a lot of people a lot of lessons and you have to know how to take those lessons and learn from them. sharyl: we learned a lot about the influence and the method of the drug trade on the arizona border. in the weeks ahead on "full measure," we' ll take you into the tunnels that are the high-volume highways for smuggling drugs into the united states. the number and the degree of
11:24 am
scary. when we return, we move on to one of our favorite projects -- "follow the money," like the afghan air force that never left the ground.
11:25 am
sharyl: in today' s "follow the money" -- incredible taxpayer waste in u.s. military programs at "full measure," we' ve reported on several giant boondoggles, as rooted out by
11:26 am
for afghanistan reconstruction, such as the $600 million afghan air force that never left the ground. this week, in a summary to congress, inspector general john sopko reviewed 18 months of his findings and reported. 63% of the taxpayer-funded projects failed to meet contract requirements or technical specs. more than one third had building deficiencies so severe, structure and safety were found to be at risk. a third of the completed projects had never been used at all -- much like the $36 million military headquarters that the u.s. never occupied. sopko added many of the projects involved unqualified contractors, inferior materials, poor workmanship, and inadequate oversight, yet many contracts were paid the full contract amount. how much are we talking? 44 taxpayer funded projects with a combined contract value of $1.1 billion tax dollars. next week on "full measure" --
11:27 am
"cadillac tax," that little-known tax break millions of you get on your work s set to be taken away under obamacare. next week, we meet a man who took it upon himself to find out who thought the cadillac tax was a good idea and how they intended to hoodwink the american public. >> it' s a very clever, you know, basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the american voter. >> when he' s talking about the lack of basic economic standing of the american people, when he' s talking about the american s pretty much talking about the "cadillac tax." sharyl: the story behind the that' s next week. thank you for watching. that' s all for this week. i' m sharyl attkisson. until next time, we' ll be -- leave you with a little look ahead. spring and the cherry blossoms arriving a little early in washington this year. some of them are just beginning
11:28 am
11:29 am
11:30 am
an indiana officer fighting for life. what happened to to two policemen when they served a warrant overnight it's busy busy busy down


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on